The Washington County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday voted to assume control of the former Fort Ritchie in central Maryland with plans to turn the property into a mixed-use development with academic, commercial, residential and recreational uses.
The planned Cascade Town Centre at Fort Ritchie would create up to 1,000 jobs and expand the region’s population by about 3,000 residents, County Administrator Gregory Murray told the Herald-Mail.
“With that type of mixed use, we feel that we’ll get parcels back on the tax rolls quickly,” Murray said.
PenMar Development Corp., the state-designated redevelopment authority, began looking for a buyer for the 591-acre property last August, two years after regaining control of it from Corporate Office Properties Trust with plans to serve as the post’s master developer. PenMar, which initially sold it to the developer in 2006, plans to transfer the installation to the county in September.
It makes sense for the county to oversee the redevelopment because it already serves as the primary regulatory agency for the property, Murray said. He added that the county has received significant interest from foreign investors about the rural campus, which features two lakes, several existing buildings and about 300 acres of land available for development.
Under the county’s vision, some buildings would be reused, with others demolished to allow for new construction. Facilities depicted in the proposed plan include a conference hall and hotel, single-family and multi-family housing units, offices, health and wellness facilities, sports activity areas, a movie theater, retail areas and other amenities, according to the story. Some locations would be protected as historic areas.